Superhero of Marvel Comics died early Monday morning in Los Angeles at 95 following complications from a medical emergency. He was born Stanley Martin Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922, in Manhattan, the older of two sons born to Jack Lieber, an occasionally employed dress cutter, and Celia (Solomon) Lieber, both immigrants from Romania. The family moved to the Bronx.
Stanley began reading Shakespeare at 10 while also devouring pulp magazines, the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Mark Twain, and the swashbuckler movies of Errol Flynn.
Stan Lee had recently suffered multiple illnesses, including a bout of pneumonia earlier this year, which he revealed during during a press conference in February. He said poor health had caused him to cancel several appearances.
“I want you all to know I’m thinking of you, of course I always think of the fans, and I hope you’re all doing well, and I miss you all,” Lee said at the time.
Lee was best known as the man bringing Marvel’s superheroes — including Spider-Man, Thor, X-Men and the Avengers — to life in comics, movies and TV shows. On his own and with artist-writers Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, he made Marvel the top publisher of comic books and a media powerhouse. Lee collaborated with Kirby on the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer and X-Men. With Ditko he created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.
By 1972, Lee rose to the top of Marvel Comics, being named the company’s editorial director and publisher.
After almost 60 years with Marvel, Lee left to create his own group, Stan Lee Media in 1998. He kept a hand in Marvel, being named the company’s chairman emeritus.
But Stan Lee Media was short-lived, and in February 2001, the company filed for bankruptcy. In 2004 Stan “The Man” Lee was back in business with Pow Entertainment, where he continued developing new characters and franchises.
Marvel got its second life with a score of films and televisions series in the late 2000s through the 2010s. Lee served as executive producer on dozens of the new Marvel incarnations. In almost every film, Lee appeared in short cameo roles to the delight of his fans.
The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Lee a National Medal of Arts in 2008.
His daughter Joan Celia Lee, who is known as J. C., was born in 1950; another daughter, Jan, died three days after birth in 1953. Mr. Lee’s wife died in 2017.
A lawyer for Ms. Lee, Kirk Schenck, confirmed Mr. Lee’s death, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The death of Stan Lee has led to hundreds of emotional reactions on social media as the actors and actresses who brought the fictional characters to the big and small screen share their condolences.
“I want to do more movies, I want to do more television, more DVDs, more multi-sodes, I want to do more lecturing, I want to do more of everything I’m doing,” he said in “With Great Power …: The Stan Lee Story,” a 2010 television documentary. “The only problem is time. I just wish there were more time.”